‘Arrogant' restaurant trade forgot the customer is king, says Gordon Ramsay

14 August 2009 by
‘Arrogant' restaurant trade forgot the customer is king, says Gordon Ramsay

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has spoken out about how the restaurant industry has suffered during the recession because it became too arrogant and forgot that customers are king.

Gordon Ramsay was recently forced to publicly admit that his restaurant business came close to collapse earlier this year.

Profits at Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH) plummeted by nearly 90% from £3.05m to just £383,325 amid the group's rapid global expansion through which it lost millions of pounds.

Auditors at KPMG, which was called in by the Royal Bank of Scotland, had recommended putting GRH into administration and a separate investigation by HM Revenue & Customs found the company owed £7.2m in taxes.

Speaking on US TV, Ramsay said he had been hit hard by the global recession as diners stayed away from his many restaurants and added that the threat to his business had taught him not to take customers for granted.

"Heading out of global economic downturn has been tough but for me it has also been a breath of fresh air," Ramsay said on Fox News.

"The industry was getting far too arrogant, they weren't respecting customers enough and they forgot the customers were king.

"Customers just disappeared. Those that were in the restaurants weren't drinking wine. All were on tap water."

Ramsay added that he it had been a learning curve for him that had taught him a lot about running a business.

"I'm not a businessman, but I certainly don't walk around with my head tucked up my backside. For me, it was a learning curve," he said.

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By Kerstin Kühn

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